This quarter we are taking a deep dive into accessibility; what it means to us, what we want to prioritize, and how we want to show up.
It is a big task, so we are taking it one step at a time and will be sharing what we learn along the way as much as we can.
Our first big step is re-creating our website using universal design principles — ie. to make it easy to use for the widest range of people. The universal design approach helps us to build an online environment that allows all users to experience value, and helps people who take in and process information differently to benefit from significantly more ease.
If you haven’t been to our website in a while, here’s what you might notice first:
- We changed our footer and buttons to respect the minimum contrast ratios that make the words easier to see/read.
- We removed directional language from the site like “click the button below” or “click the yellow button” or “see below” which assumes people are interacting with the site visually.
- We improved link clarity by making sure links tell people what they do. For example, instead of just “click here” a button now reads “Learn more about our anti-racism statement.”
Those are just a few of the changes, and there are many more below the surface, like code that enables people who don’t (or can’t) navigate via mouse to use assistive technologies (like a keyboard, joystick, or laser pointer) to check boxes on our forms.
Accessibility is a journey, but hopefully sharing our steps will give you ideas on how to take your own steps. More accessibility for everyone! Which, of course, is the point.
the ethical move news.
In addition to accessibility (which really has dominated our time), we’ve been having great conversations about the wording of the pledge to make it more empowering for you to put into action.
We’ll keep you updated, but what we most want you to know is that we are listening! The conversations we’re having within the team come from the questions and suggestions we hear from you. So please, keep them coming!
Do you follow us on Medium? We have a new article to share with you this month.
We couldn’t have done any of our work this month without Maria Arango Kure, our accessibility specialist, who took the lead in navigating the deep waters of accessibility for our website.
She’s written this article to help you take your own first steps towards website accessibility, even if you have little technical know-how.
*We have become aware that Medium itself is not accessible in its current form. We are working on creating a blog on our website to bring articles written by ethical move team members into an accessible format; and we will request each external writer do the same on their own platforms.
our pledgee highlights.
If I can build the principles of the ethical move into the foundation of a new company at its conception, it informs and shapes the direction a company grows, how it presents itself to the world and how it makes a better consumer market for all.
– Nathan Shearman, mhquk.org
I am making the ethical move because I am inspired– by you and others you have inspired – to bring to consciousness how marketing can make a person (either operating as a sole trader or within a business, with others) FEEL. I want to create a space, dialogue, transparency and comfort for those for whom selling is not second nature, but who have something of value to give, unashamedly, with the world.
– Frances Khalastchi, optimisticmarketing.co.uk
what we’re reading right now.
Accessibility for everyone by Laura Kalbag (paid book & e-book) Understand disability and impairment challenges; get a handle on important laws and guidelines; and learn how to plan for, evaluate, and test accessible design.
Standards for Writing Accessibly by Michael J. Metts, Andy Welfle (free article) This article should help you write better for screen readers, give additional context to users who may need it, and be easier to parse information.
Inclusive Components by Heydon Pickering (paid book & e-book)
A detailed, practical handbook for building fully accessible interfaces. The book examines common interface patterns — accordions, tables, tabs, toggles and everything in-between — through the lens of inclusion.
A Smashing guide to Accessibility> (free articles and resources)
This guide highlights content which can help you create more accessible sites and web applications.
*We share resources to broaden our horizons, deepen our knowledge of our industry, and learn how to market ethically. The ethical move team does not agree with every opinion, nor do we claim to have found the best resources on the subject.
what we’re working on.
We’re continuing to review our design and copy based on what we’re learning from the accessibility review; things like not using white on yellow (bright on bright) for improving visibility and readability, and changing web copy from design-based semantics to semantics-based design.
And we are expanding our review to making this very newsletter, and our social media feeds as accessible as the tools themselves allow.